A few months ago, Wael Ghonim resurged in response to the appearance of actor/contractor Mohamed Ali. Back then, at work, people didn’t stop talking about their Facebook live stream videos. And as much as I avoided such heated talks and unfollowed both activists, it brought me an emotional disturbance, a bowl of mixed feelings. It opened a line of memory that I wanted to stop. Remembering one of my best friends I lost in the past year and the high hopes our generation had for our county. A sense of insecurity and instability and I now long for the opposite.
In 2008 I had a clear vision for myself, I even named that year, the “year of clear vision,” obviously. Back then, I aspired to be a politician, an element of positive change for my country. Eight years later, I made a course change. and decided to cede any political activism. I started to build a new world for myself, like a bubble.
I started running long distances, launched a podcast which lasted for a few months, and authored three books. However, it felt like a temporary exit strategy, I was running from myself.
I needed to make a stop and think more deeply, what I would like to do and how will I handle my lost hopes and sad memories.
I have found that part of my anger and sadness comes from the continuous stream of memories, Facebook reminds us with, every day. Humans are not built to be reminded each day with a memory in a picture or a post status, with all its accompanying comments and discussions.
Being a politician was part of my identity and now I felt confused because I lost part of myself, and I cannot do anything about it. I still had three Instagram accounts and three Facebook pages. A politician, a running man, and another page for the podcast. I needed to find my lost identity, I needed to think clearly away from any distractions.
I unpublished all my Facebook pages, and later, I deactivated my Facebook account. In a few days, I was much relieved. Simply not reading discussions on circumstances that are beyond of our circle of influence and avoiding memories and living in the moment.
I went back to asking myself the basic identity questions, what are my values, principles, mission, vision, and goals. I took my time and answered elaborately. I did a 360 evaluation questionnaire, matched my own answers and thought of the similarities and differences. I need to start fresh and put all my memories, highs, and lows behind my back.
We are who we decide to be, we choose the story we tell to ourselves and believe in. There are parts of our identity that we cannot change, such as race and biological parents. However, we decide how to fit into society. For most of the other parts of our identity, they can be much easier changing. Clubs we cheer for, what we do for a living, our friends, religion, and even gender is now a choice in questionnaires.
After weeks of reflecting, evaluating, and going back to online social networks with a new strategy, I concluded.
I am a doctor, and I treat patients with UpToDate medical science and a compassionate approach. I am a writer, I learn, write, and share my knowledge. I aspire to change and inspire to change people to live a balanced life in a world where freedom, justice, and dignity prevails.